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Why ethnic groups rebel: Intra-ethnic division, dynamic grievances, state repression and escalation.

Kubo, Keiichi (2007) Why ethnic groups rebel: Intra-ethnic division, dynamic grievances, state repression and escalation. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Why do ethnic groups rebel against the state?While there have been various efforts to answer this question, existing explanations tend to be static and based on the unitary actor assumption. This thesis attempts to make a step forward by relaxing the unitary actor assumption and by introducing dynamic elements into the explanatory framework. In order to do so, it takes a three-step approach, examining (1) the initial intensity of rebellion, (2) the onset of rebellion, and (3) the escalation. As for the methodology, this thesis adopts a mixed-methods approach: for each step, it conducts both large-N analyses and qualitative analyses of ex-Yugoslav countries. This thesis firstly examines the determinants of the initial intensity of rebellion. It presents two ideal-types, "decisions from above" made by ethnic leaders and "decisions from below" made by non-leaders, and will argue that the initial intensity is more likely to be higher if ethnic leaders organise the rebellion, because they can mobilise more resources. Secondly, this thesis examines the causes of the onset of rebellion. It will argue that structural conditions alone do not suffice to explain it, and will argue for the importance of dynamic grievances. In other words, even when structural conditions do not change, grievances will increase over time as the duration of peaceful protests gets longer, because people will be increasingly frustrated by the failure to achieve their goals by peaceful means. Finally, this thesis examines the dynamics of escalation. It will be argued that the low-intensity rebellion is likely to provoke state repression, and that the repressive measures taken by the state in turn are likely to cause the escalation of rebellion. The concluding chapter explores the theoretical and methodological implications for the study of ethnic conflict as well as the policy implications for conflict prevention.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, General, East European Studies
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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